The most atomically-precise material ever built.
— US Department of Energy review
 

Agua Via’s products are based on the Covalent one-atomic-layer thick membranes. No – these aren’t graphene.  These are organic membranes made with atom-by-atom precision to create the most atomically precise material ever built. Designed and constructed using classical pharmaceutical-style chemistry, these powerful techniques have been brought to bear on creating a material: membranes for use in water treatment. Even creating a major new pharmaceutical would not provide as much benefit to people and planet as bringing this power to the world of water. 

Although both “polymer chemistry” and “organic chemistry” have “chemistry” in their names, there are orders of magnitude differences in control, performance and the resulting benefits. The old rules of polymeric membranes do not apply. 

The creation of the membranes began with by understanding the huge list of problems being faced in the world of water. In addition to the generally known challenges, such as the need to reduce energy consumption, the operational demands of water systems are brutally difficult.

The next step was to ask how all of those problems could be solved by the membrane itself. Could the membrane itself solve the problem – whether the problem was reducing maintenance requirements, reducing fouling and scaling, removing a newly regulated contaminant, reducing energy consumption, reducing capital expense? Or were the traditional solutions of high energy use, many pre-treatment systems, demanding maintenance regimes unavoidable?

The membranes are designed and engineered to incorporate as many of the complete needs for water treatment in at the atomic scale. The benefits are ultra-high purity, the lowest energy possible under the laws of nature, small footprint, low maintenance, higher yields, smaller waste streams which result in lower costs of building, operating and maintaining water systems. 

The key technology components delivering benefits are:

  1. Biomimicry and Atomic Precision.  By mimicking over a dozen of Nature’s techniques, you gain great control of filtration, high purity water, low energy use, reduced maintenance, smaller footprint, higher yields and reduced waste streams.  
  2. Full Spectrum FiltrationTM. Full Spectrum Filtration provides a new paradigm for water filtration based on the human kidney. The human kidney has a profound and simple paradigm: it keeps everything vital to life, and throws everything else away. 
  3. Energy. With a one-atomic-layer thick membrane, energy demand is the lowest possible. The long quest of membrane technology has been to combine high specificity with low energy. With complete atomic precision in filtration and a one-atomic-layer thick membrane, that goal is achieved. The energy demands of the Agua Via purification system are so low, it can be powered by gravity.   And then there are even more ways to save energy.
  4. Mix&Match Customization with Programmable Pores. Not only can the membranes be customized to produce the desired product water, these membranes can also be customized to other characteristics of your feedstock water. The goal is reduce or eliminate pre-treatments, post-treatments and maintenance requirements.
  5. Small Footprints and Distributed Systems. Centralized plants offer economies of scale, but the diseconomy of moving large volumes of water in and out. Treating locally saves the infrastructure network cost and the energy cost of moving water. This small footprint technology opens the possibility of economic distributed systems.  

On schedule to be in the field in 2020, we hope to see Agua Via product deliver profound benefits.